Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Exhausted Egypt PM set to resume cabinet talks | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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CAIRO, (AFP) — Egypt’s embattled Prime Minister Essam Sharaf was putting final touches to his new cabinet on Tuesday after being hospitalised overnight suffering from exhaustion.

The cabinet, aimed at appeasing protesters who want a purge of old regime figures and quicker reforms, was meant to take office on Monday but a swearing in ceremony was postponed amid objections to the choice of ministers.

The cabinet said on its Facebook page late Monday night that Sharaf “left his office after a hard day’s work, which necessitated his undergoing medical tests.”

The prime minister was later released from hospital in stable condition, the official MENA news agency reported.

Fourteen new ministers and a deputy premier had been expected to take the oath of office before Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads the ruling military council, but state television said the ceremony had been postponed.

There were conflicting reports on when the ceremony would take place.

“The government of Sharaf will take the constitutional oath tomorrow (Tuesday) to allow for the completion of negotiations,” state-run Nile Television reported.

MENA’s English service said the date of the ceremony is “still unknown.”

Sharaf, who heads a caretaker government after a revolt toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak in February, had hoped the sweeping reshuffle would persuade the protesters to end a 10-day-old sit-in at Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square.

But the protesters complained that the new cabinet retains ministers they wanted sacked, including Justice Minister Abdel Aziz al-Gindi, whom they accuse of delaying trials of former regime officials including Mubarak.